FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hamtramck Public Schools Passes Anti-Racism Resolution
The Hamtramck Public Schools Board of Education approved an anti-racism resolution at the meeting on June 10, 2020 with a unanimous vote. Through the resolution, the district vows to create an academic community dedicated to principles of human rights and dignity and recognize systems in America that impact different groups in unjust ways. The district’s decision aligns with Governor Whitmer’s recent declaration that racism is a public health crisis.
Board Trustee Jihan Aiyash author of the approved resolution stated, “School systems are not free from anti-black racism. What they are free from is accountability; everything gets brushed under the rug or justified with racist ideologies. I want HPS to be better. To do better. Because we know better. Black student lives matter and it’s about time we openly prove it does in our district!”
The Hamtramck School District is currently creating plans, forming specialty committees, and seeking community partners to walk alongside the school system to honor the resolution. In February, the district began gathering input from Hamtramck resident Madelyn Porter, a long-time activist and supporter of the school system and Huda Essa, author, and founder of "Culture Links, L.L.C.” Porter has been charged with engaging staff in thought provoking learning opportunities to foster cultural authenticity and responsiveness.
Through the resolution, the district aims to serve its multicultural population by achieving excellence in education and responding to the values, beliefs and priorities of the community.
Board President Evan Major added, “In yet another moment of reckoning with the deeply rooted courage of systemic racism, we are compelled to take courageous action. As a step in the right direction, I am proud our school system has affirmed that Black Lives Matter by taking an inward look, augmenting our practices to be more representative and inclusive, and cementing the current civic action happening around our country into our curriculum. There is more work to do, but we are committed to working toward a more just and equitable future for us all.”
The resolution can be viewed, in full, at this link HPS Anti-Racism Resolution
“There isn’t a vaccine to treat systemic racism,” said Superintendent Jaleelah Hassan Ahmed. “The answer lies in us, and first we must know that it exists and define it. It is the grim reality of systemic racism. The killing of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and so many others has brought people on a national and global level to seek justice.”
In early June, the district shared the following anti-racism resources with parents:
- For books dealing with social justice topics: Social Justice Books
- For teenagers dealing with police shootings: “The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas
- For young children (ages 4-8): “Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice” by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard
- Especially useful for white parents: “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America” by Jennifer Harvey
- “Daddy Why Am I Brown?” A healthy conversation about skin color and family by
Bedford F. Palmer
- “A Terrible Thing Happened” by Margaret Holmes